• Mark Cavendish headlines Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic
• New status and tougher route in 2014
• Race to be shown live on BBC 1
Former World Champion and 25-time Tour de France stage winner Mark Cavendish will lead the line-up in the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic on Sunday 10 August, part of the Mayor of London’s multi-award winning annual festival of cycling.
The Manx cyclist will lead his Omega Pharma Quick-Step team in the event, which has been awarded 1.HC status (the second-highest international classification) by the UCI, the international cycling federation, in only its second year, and takes place on a new, tougher route this year.
Changes to the men’s pro race route will see the 200-kilometre racing start at 13:00 and focus on multiple circuits in the Surrey Hills. The changes include two climbs through Denbies Vineyard to Ranmore Common and the introduction of additional sections of the 2012 Olympic Road Race route, such as the climb of Staple Lane over the North Downs near Guildford.
The race will be covered live on BBC1 and shown internationally in more than 160 countries.
Cavendish will arrive at Prudential RideLondon from the Tour de France, where he’ll be setting his sights on winning the green points jersey, which he won in 2011.
“I’m excited to be riding in the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic for the first time this year,” says Cavendish. “It’s another opportunity to race in front of the amazing crowds in Britain. Coming after the Tour de France and Commonwealth Games, more and more people are going to be at the roadside cheering us on and wanting to be a part of the weekend.”
“The whole event just shows the growth of cycling in Britain, so it will be great to be a part of it with my Omega Pharma Quick-Step team. We know it’s a challenging route, but we also know it’s one that can end in a sprint finish, which should suit the team and me.”
The 2013 British Champion will headline a 150-rider field comprised of 25 teams of six riders, including Cavendish’s current world number-one-ranked team Omega Pharma Quick-Step. Further details of the remaining teams and the world-class field of riders for the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic will be announced in the coming weeks.
“We are delighted to welcome Mark Cavendish and his Omega Pharma Quick-Step team to the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic,” said Race Director Mick Bennett. “The fact that he and his team have chosen to ride the event, and our elevation to Hors Categorie status for 2014, underlines Prudential RideLondon’s status as the world’s greatest festival of cycling.”
“This year we have looked at the route and made some significant changes to the race in the Surrey Hills, with the addition of the climb through Denbies Vineyard, an exciting and innovative change that we feel will benefit both spectators and riders.”
The Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic starts at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, goes out through central London and into Surrey with the main route changes taking place in the Surrey Hills. Fans are invited to watch the race at spectator vantage points along the route including Kingston, Wimbledon, Putney and Dorking.
First riders will tackle the climb of Staple Lane, a new addition to the 2014 route, before heading into Dorking and the climb of Coldharbour and Leith Hill.
After returning to Dorking the race will tackle two circuits of the ascent through Denbies Vineyard, before racing back through Dorking and on to Box Hill. The more direct route used by the London 2012 road race, via Leatherhead, Oxshott and Esher, will see the distance from the final climb to the finish shortened, bringing in to play a greater tactical element as the sprinters’ teams battle to bring back any breakaways.
The last 25km of the race features the recently renovated Ancient Market Place in Kingston, a new sprint up Wimbledon Hill, the Chelsea Embankment, Tate Britain, Westminster Abbey and the Houses of Parliament and Whitehall. The final kilometre marker at Downing Street will see the race intensify as the peloton speeds to Trafalgar Square, through Admiralty Arch and the final sprint for the line on The Mall in front of Buckingham Palace.
The Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic is the fifth and final event of the Mayor of London’s Prudential RideLondon festival of cycling over the weekend of 9-10 August.
An extensive communications campaign is already underway to help businesses and the public plan and get around on the day, as well as make the most of the events over the weekend. Since May, information has been sent to more than 1 million residents and businesses along and close to the event routes to help them plan ahead – further information will follow in July. A series of public information sessions will be held next month in the affected areas to provide details of the temporary changes in place and to offer residents and businesses the opportunity to ask questions. Information on travel disruption and advice is available on www.tfl.gov.uk/prudentialridelondon. To avoid delays, wherever possible all drivers are advised to avoid areas near the event routes.